by Pumps & Systems Staff
December 22, 2011

Above: Blackmer sliding vane hand pumps used for the transfer of solvents by Pan Am in the 1950s. Photo courtest of Blackmer.

Below: Marvin and Kathryn Summerfield founded Cascade Pump Company in 1948. They are pictured here at an industry tradeshow in the early 1950s. Photo courtesy of Cascade Pump Company.

1968 Gorman-Rupp produces the first fiberglass, below-ground, factory-built sewage pumping station.

1968 The ownership of Stenberg-Flygt AB is transferred to the American multinational enterprise ITT (International Telephone & Telegraph Corporation). Prior to this transfer, Stenberg-Flygt AB, AB Flygts Pumpar and Flygt International AB are consolidated as a single company.

1969 Mouvex launches the first sealless rotary pump not based on magnets.

1969 Gusher designs the 7800 series for the filter & washer industry.

1970s Viking introduces spur gear line of pumps, which is the company's largest selling OEM pump.

1970s Gorman-Rupp invents the bellows-metering pump and the oscillating pump, while the Mansfield Division acquires the Roto-Prime pump.

1970 Smith & Loveless engineer Frank Weis designs the first-ever above-grade sewage pump lift station. 

1971 Gusher develops a purge hole system that enabled pumps to handle up to 30 to 40 percent entrained air.

1973 Frank Weis pioneers the first-ever vortex grit removal system for wastewater treatment plants. 

1973 KSB launches the BOA-H, the first maintenance-free, standard cast iron valve.

1978 KSB puts the BOA-W line onto the valve market. The first soft-seated standard valve is able to cope with dirt in the fluid. 

1979 Gusher develops multistage pumps for higher pressures required by the machine tool industry and the worlds first top pull-out pump.

1980s Viking introduces the Universal Seal and Viking Mag Drive lines of internal gear pumps—both the first of their kind in the industry.

1980s Gorman-Rupp unveils the nutating pump, a special purpose small pump used in health care applications; additional energy-efficient, self-priming centrifugal pumps; a series of lightweight portable pumps and high-pressure pumps with the first digital-control panels.

1980s Electronic controls enter the industry to make pumps more energy efficient.

1980s GIW develops wear modeling technology for predicting pump performance.

1984 First Texas A&M Pump Users Symposium is held.

1984 Scienco produces the first specialized positive displacement pumps specifically designed for agricultural applications.

1985 Sims manufactures the first structural composite pump, all Simsite Vertical Pit Pump. Sims later won the Innovative Product Award for these products in 1990.

1989 Sier-Bath incorporates the first application of multiphase pumps in paper stock.

1990s First hard metal slurry pump for hydraulic transport of oil sands tallings.

In 1933, J.C. Gorman and Herb Rupp introduced a pump which had a "non-clogging" feature. Their competitors claimed the pump would not work in a savage public awareness campaign to discredit the new design, which resulted in about $100,00 worth of "free advertising." At least one customer was willing to try it. National Ice Company purchased the first pump, and the company Gorman-Rupp was established. Photo courtesy of Gorman-Rupp Company. 

1994 Two new major products are introduced by Goulds Pumps, the Industrial Model 3298 Magnetic Drive Pump and the Water Technologies Model GS “Global Submersible.”

1994 Sims receives the honor of approval from the United States Navy for composite centrifugal pump intervals. Simsite was tested and qualified for centrifugal pump replacement parts and was the first composite to be certified.

1994 Baha Abulnaga invents the slurry and froth pump with  a split vane impeller. The split impeller helps to reduce recirculation in slurry pumps by dividing the space between the main vanes without reducing the passageway at the narrowest point, which is the eye of the impeller. In froth pumps, it helps to break up air bubbles that form and tend to block the flow.

1995 Sims manufactures the largest structural composite pumps in the world - two Simsite vertical turbine pumps for Potomac Electric Power Company. They are 40 feet long and 3 feet in diameter.

1997 ITT Industries acquires Goulds Pumps, making ITT the world's largest pump company.

1999 PumpSmart is introduced at the ChemShow in New York.

2000s Computer designed LCC rubber-lined pump introduced to the market by GIW.

2000s Innovated “slurry diverter” developed by GIW to improve wear.